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California Gets Green Light on Greener Vehicle Emissions

Driving the San Gorgonio Pass on the 10 Freeway | Photo by kevindooley via Flickr
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After years of lawsuits against the Bush Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency today granted California the permission it wanted to impose strict emissions regulations on cars sold in the state. By 2016, fuel economy in cars and trucks sold in the state will need to have an average of 35.5 miles per gallon, a reduction of 40%. "EPA's reversal tears down the last remaining barrier preventing California from enforcing its laws curbing greenhouse gases," said Attorney General in a statement. "Today's decision stands in sharp contrast to the Bush EPA's politically driven denial two years ago."

California is the first to go ahead with such a law, but a similar Obama-proposed national standard trails behind, calming automakers fears that each state would carry drastic differences in standards.

"We are hopeful the granting of this waiver will not undermine the enormous efforts put forth to create the national program," said Dave McCurdy, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in a statement published in the Huffington Post. "[It] moves us towards a policy that ensures that consumers in all 50 states have access to highly fuel efficient vehicles at an affordable price."